HELLO HELSINKI

The following comments have been gleaned from a Travel Guide by Mark Green.
The city of Helsinki might be known as “the daughter of the Baltic” because of its location, but it is also called “the white city of the north” mainly because of the beautiful buildings made of pale granite which is sourced locally.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland since 1812 is also the country’s largest city with a population of approximately 605,000.
It is the major financial, research, political, educational and cultural centre of Finland.
In 2011 it topped the ladder in the Liveable Cities Index as the world’s most liveable city.
Right in the midst of the city centre is the historical Senate Square. It is at the end of Mannerheimintie, the main thoroughfare of the city.
The Gulf Stream and the Baltic Sea influence the climactic conditions in Helsinki which is classified as humid continental. Helsinki experiences long winters that could last from November until March. In Winter the city is normally always freezing. Average temperatures drop to minus 5 degrees but the chill in the wind could plunge the temperature reading to below minus 20 degrees on some very cold days. Daylight lasts for about 6 hours in Winter.
Summertime daylight hours are dramatically long, usually lasting for 19 hours, with the sun setting very late at night and temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees. This is from June until the middle of August.

FROM KEMI TO HELSINKI
It was a taxi for us this morning as we were staying a distance from the Train Station and the train left at 08:30.

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It has surprised us several times that there is no railway employee in attendance at the Station. Hence there is nobody to answer questions, make bookings or sell tickets – it all happens on the train and if one is sitting in a Reserved Seat it means a move when that person boards.

This time the First Class carriage was directly behind the engine and on an upper level and for three-quarters of our journey there was never more than one other passenger in that section. We had access to free water, tea and coffee and biscuits.
There were actual lockers for our cases
(could be locked but we didn’t). There were several “allergy free” booths and another booth for Mobile Phone use.
In all, a very comfortable set up.
Eight and a half hours is certainly a long time in one seat so it was good to be able to stand for a while. We have been spoiled with some of the scenery we have experienced. Today’s was interesting but not as dramatic as some that we have seen.
We arrived in Helsinki on time at 17:00.

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